When I write, I must focus on one thing at a time. The same goes for when I am submitting stories—I submit one at a time, reworking it if it’s rejected, and on and on until it either gets published, or I find myself pulled into trying a different story.
If I am writing for work, I have to start and complete one writing task at a time. This way, I can focus all of my attention on perfecting my piece, however frustrating that may become. As soon as I have a task, ideas flock to me, it just comes down to sorting them into what is actually good and what is not. And believe me, I have bad ideas too.
If I am writing for personal pleasure, I do the same. I focus on what I want to accomplish, and continue to do so until I am pleased with it. I find that lending my brain to more than one story leaves too much room for error. When I run into a problem, I stop and ponder it until I have it figured out, and then I will eventually take up my pen once again. I suppose, for me, it makes for longer writing because I first write a story in my head, and then move it onto a screen (or sometimes paper, if necessary). That can mean waiting months to figure out a problem before getting back to writing the story again.
I know that some people set goals for themselves, such as to write a certain number of words or pages a day, or to have a piece done by a certain date. Goals like those can force you to write, and to push your boundaries, but for me, they lead to a lesser piece of work. If I am not given the time I need to write something the way that I think it should be, it will never be the best that I could do.
I may have various stories twirling about in my head at any time, but I write one, then move to another. I know that many of you work on more than one at a time, and to be honest it quite baffles me. But, to each their own.
I want to know how you write. How do stories come to you? Are you like me, where ideas just appear, branching off of each other until you have the ultimate tale? I tend to stew over things for a long time when it comes to writing, then when I have my idea, it pours out effortlessly for the most part. Of course, like I said, there are times where I reach problems, and I take time to work them out, but once I have them decided, the rest is generally quite simple.
How many pieces do you have going right now? Does it help or hinder the quality?